Being a digital nomad is weird. In any other job you’d wake up, slam your alarm, get ready for work, then spend the next ten or so hours stuff in traffic, working, then driving home. You’d probably wear a uniform. There’s a lot of structure, and you know what you’re going to do every day.
Digital Nomads live a largely unstructured life.
I wake up most days and commute to the kitchen, where I make coffee. Then I come back into my room with the piping hot mug and start doing a mash-up of applying to remote jobs, penning product reviews, and writing copy for clients of mine.
I’m 23, graduated college one year ago, and never in my right mind would’ve thought I’d be on the other side of the country right now working in my pajamas writing copy for my own clients.
A year ago I was working at Panera Bread getting minimum wage. A college graduate, earning minimum wage.
What a weird journey it’s been. It’s allowed me to travel across the country while working, but I always end up working in weird places too. I work at coffee shops, restaurants, Airbnb’s, hostel lobbies, and the houses of my friends. It almost doesn’t feel real sometimes. Sometimes I wonder whether I’m making any real impact on the world at all.
It’s been hard to adjust to honestly.
Most days I literally stay inside staring at a computer screen for hours on end. Everybody else is much more balanced because they actually get out of the house to other places. Not me, I stay put pretty much all day. I can’t get out because I make lunch at home and I’d have to buy lunch should I go out.
And then when you are in a coffee shop and you have to get on the phone with a client you have to step outside for peace and quiet. And even there it’s not that quiet. Then there’s clients that don’t pay and you have to take care of that. It’s just a mess most times.
Being a digital nomad does have its perks, though. I get to go wherever I want to go. My mind gets absolutely blown half the time by what I’m seeing. Going to Arizona was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had in my life. It’s better at this age when you see something for yourself apart from your parents. Seeing America has made me feel so independent and stable–even though there’s definitely days where I feel it’s all going to fall apart.
Being a digital nomad is weird because there’s nobody I know that is one. If I wanted to be a restaurant manager I might be able to go talk to somebody about it to get more information, but all the digital nomads worth their salt are all out there, way out in the world. The only way to get in contact with them is to ask questions is via email.
Most are working.
I’m definitely not sad with my life at all. It’s quite the opposite. I’m just saying that it’s difficult sometimes because it’s uncommon. But just as much as I’m thrown off guard in a bad way, I’m also thrown off guard in a fantastic way because I’m so surprised by just how many perks this lifestyle can afford me.
It’s definitely something you could do too if you wanted to.